Neural substrates for judgment of self-agency in ambiguous situations

Hirokata Fukushima, Yurie Goto, Takaki Maeda, Motoichiro Kato, Satoshi Umeda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The sense of agency is the attribution of oneself as the cause of one's own actions and their effects. Accurate agency judgments are essential for adaptive behaviors in dynamic environments, especially in conditions of uncertainty. However, it is unclear how agency judgments are made in ambiguous situations where self-agency and non-self-agency are both possible. Agency attribution is thus thought to require higher-order neurocognitive processes that integrate several possibilities. Furthermore, neural activity specific to self-attribution, as compared with non-self-attribution, may reflect higher-order critical operations that contribute to constructions of self-consciousness. Based on these assumptions, the present study focused on agency judgments under ambiguous conditions and examined the neural correlates of this operation with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants performed a simple but demanding agency-judgment task, which required them to report on whether they attributed their own action as the cause of a visual stimulus change. The temporal discrepancy between the participant's action and the visual events was adaptively set to be maximally ambiguous for each individual on a trial-by-trial basis. Comparison with results for a control condition revealed that the judgment of agency was associated with activity in lateral temporo-parietal areas, medial frontal areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal area, and frontal operculum/insula regions. However, most of these areas did not differentiate between self- and non-self-attribution. Instead, self-attribution was associated with activity in posterior midline areas, including the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These results suggest that deliberate self-attribution of an external event is principally associated with activity in posterior midline structures, which is imperative for self-consciousness.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere72267
JournalPLoS One
Volume8
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Aug 19

Fingerprint

consciousness
Substrates
magnetic resonance imaging
cortex
Consciousness
uncertainty
Parietal Lobe
Gyrus Cinguli
Psychological Adaptation
Uncertainty
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Neural substrates for judgment of self-agency in ambiguous situations. / Fukushima, Hirokata; Goto, Yurie; Maeda, Takaki; Kato, Motoichiro; Umeda, Satoshi.

In: PLoS One, Vol. 8, No. 8, e72267, 19.08.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fukushima, Hirokata ; Goto, Yurie ; Maeda, Takaki ; Kato, Motoichiro ; Umeda, Satoshi. / Neural substrates for judgment of self-agency in ambiguous situations. In: PLoS One. 2013 ; Vol. 8, No. 8.
@article{ed623b749f8e4d079ec5ac2f38205b0a,
title = "Neural substrates for judgment of self-agency in ambiguous situations",
abstract = "The sense of agency is the attribution of oneself as the cause of one's own actions and their effects. Accurate agency judgments are essential for adaptive behaviors in dynamic environments, especially in conditions of uncertainty. However, it is unclear how agency judgments are made in ambiguous situations where self-agency and non-self-agency are both possible. Agency attribution is thus thought to require higher-order neurocognitive processes that integrate several possibilities. Furthermore, neural activity specific to self-attribution, as compared with non-self-attribution, may reflect higher-order critical operations that contribute to constructions of self-consciousness. Based on these assumptions, the present study focused on agency judgments under ambiguous conditions and examined the neural correlates of this operation with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants performed a simple but demanding agency-judgment task, which required them to report on whether they attributed their own action as the cause of a visual stimulus change. The temporal discrepancy between the participant's action and the visual events was adaptively set to be maximally ambiguous for each individual on a trial-by-trial basis. Comparison with results for a control condition revealed that the judgment of agency was associated with activity in lateral temporo-parietal areas, medial frontal areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal area, and frontal operculum/insula regions. However, most of these areas did not differentiate between self- and non-self-attribution. Instead, self-attribution was associated with activity in posterior midline areas, including the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These results suggest that deliberate self-attribution of an external event is principally associated with activity in posterior midline structures, which is imperative for self-consciousness.",
author = "Hirokata Fukushima and Yurie Goto and Takaki Maeda and Motoichiro Kato and Satoshi Umeda",
year = "2013",
month = "8",
day = "19",
doi = "10.1371/journal.pone.0072267",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
journal = "PLoS One",
issn = "1932-6203",
publisher = "Public Library of Science",
number = "8",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Neural substrates for judgment of self-agency in ambiguous situations

AU - Fukushima, Hirokata

AU - Goto, Yurie

AU - Maeda, Takaki

AU - Kato, Motoichiro

AU - Umeda, Satoshi

PY - 2013/8/19

Y1 - 2013/8/19

N2 - The sense of agency is the attribution of oneself as the cause of one's own actions and their effects. Accurate agency judgments are essential for adaptive behaviors in dynamic environments, especially in conditions of uncertainty. However, it is unclear how agency judgments are made in ambiguous situations where self-agency and non-self-agency are both possible. Agency attribution is thus thought to require higher-order neurocognitive processes that integrate several possibilities. Furthermore, neural activity specific to self-attribution, as compared with non-self-attribution, may reflect higher-order critical operations that contribute to constructions of self-consciousness. Based on these assumptions, the present study focused on agency judgments under ambiguous conditions and examined the neural correlates of this operation with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants performed a simple but demanding agency-judgment task, which required them to report on whether they attributed their own action as the cause of a visual stimulus change. The temporal discrepancy between the participant's action and the visual events was adaptively set to be maximally ambiguous for each individual on a trial-by-trial basis. Comparison with results for a control condition revealed that the judgment of agency was associated with activity in lateral temporo-parietal areas, medial frontal areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal area, and frontal operculum/insula regions. However, most of these areas did not differentiate between self- and non-self-attribution. Instead, self-attribution was associated with activity in posterior midline areas, including the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These results suggest that deliberate self-attribution of an external event is principally associated with activity in posterior midline structures, which is imperative for self-consciousness.

AB - The sense of agency is the attribution of oneself as the cause of one's own actions and their effects. Accurate agency judgments are essential for adaptive behaviors in dynamic environments, especially in conditions of uncertainty. However, it is unclear how agency judgments are made in ambiguous situations where self-agency and non-self-agency are both possible. Agency attribution is thus thought to require higher-order neurocognitive processes that integrate several possibilities. Furthermore, neural activity specific to self-attribution, as compared with non-self-attribution, may reflect higher-order critical operations that contribute to constructions of self-consciousness. Based on these assumptions, the present study focused on agency judgments under ambiguous conditions and examined the neural correlates of this operation with functional magnetic resonance imaging. Participants performed a simple but demanding agency-judgment task, which required them to report on whether they attributed their own action as the cause of a visual stimulus change. The temporal discrepancy between the participant's action and the visual events was adaptively set to be maximally ambiguous for each individual on a trial-by-trial basis. Comparison with results for a control condition revealed that the judgment of agency was associated with activity in lateral temporo-parietal areas, medial frontal areas, the dorsolateral prefrontal area, and frontal operculum/insula regions. However, most of these areas did not differentiate between self- and non-self-attribution. Instead, self-attribution was associated with activity in posterior midline areas, including the precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These results suggest that deliberate self-attribution of an external event is principally associated with activity in posterior midline structures, which is imperative for self-consciousness.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84899801267&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84899801267&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1371/journal.pone.0072267

DO - 10.1371/journal.pone.0072267

M3 - Article

C2 - 23977268

AN - SCOPUS:84899801267

VL - 8

JO - PLoS One

JF - PLoS One

SN - 1932-6203

IS - 8

M1 - e72267

ER -